Static vs Dynamic Website: Perfect Fit With Jamstack's Fusion
The differences between static and dynamic websites are serious but it's not that intuitive to spot them. Both have been around for many years, and it always has been a question of choosing one over another. But it all changed a few years ago, when the Jamstack approach entered the stage of web development. You can now benefit from both types of websites at the same time as Jamstack challenges their cons respectively. But how?
When talking about static and dynamic websites, one may be easily tempted to think that the latter are infinitely better, because their content may move and change.
But this is not exactly the truth and, sometimes, it’s even quite the opposite. There can be static elements on a dynamic site and the other way around, or the line may be even blurred.
And there’s also Jamstack – an innovative philosophy that connects the idea of traditional static and dynamic sites, bringing the best of both worlds together in an astonishing way. You should definitely take a look at this approach, and we will guide you through it!
From this article you will learn about:
What static websites are
What dynamic websites are
The main differences between static vs dynamic website
The pros and cons of static and dynamic websites
When to use static or dynamic websites
How content delivery works in static and dynamic websites
Jamstack – a modern approach to rendering that combines the benefits of static and dynamic websites
What makes a website static or dynamic?
The first thing that is worth discussing are the specific elements that decide if a site is static or dynamic. We can refer to the code of the website – static sites have content that is coded directly on the page, while dynamic ones reference an external database, CMS, or other source of data.
Know The Difference – What Is a Static Website?
It doesn't mean the content isn't interactive or animated. It can be – but it will be fed with the very same data, no matter what the visitor does.
Static sites are ideal for businesses that require a straightforward online presence, such as portfolios, landing pages, or informational websites with content that doesn't need frequent updates.
Know The Difference – What Is a Dynamic Website?
A dynamic website is a more interactive and flexible platform that delivers personalized content to users based on their preferences and actions. It utilizes a server-side approach and a database to fetch and display content dynamically. Dynamic websites support user registrations, real-time interactions, and can handle more complex tasks such as e-commerce, blogging, or social networking.
The ability to provide personalized user experiences and handle frequent content updates makes dynamic websites suitable for businesses that thrive on user engagement and require data-driven functionalities.
Features of Static Websites – Pros And Cons
As we have said, static websites are pre-generated and delivered via a CDN. They can be created using so-called static site generators, but you can’t easily update the content via CMS as in the case of dynamic web pages (unless you try the Jamstack approach that we’ll cover in this article, too!). You can use different generators, such as Jekyll, Gatsby, Hugo, Middleman, or Nuxt.
What are the advantages of static sites?
In the world of web development, static sites offer a host of advantages that make them an appealing choice for businesses, especially those who seek efficiency, rapidness of deployment, or SEO presence.
Lightning-Fast Loading Speeds
Pre-rendered static sites load exceptionally fast, delivering an optimal user experience. This quick loading time not only improves user satisfaction but also positively impacts SEO rankings.
Stability and Reliability
Static sites exhibit robust performance even under high traffic loads, making them highly scalable and reliable when the traffic peaks. As static sites don't interact directly with users, they are less susceptible to security vulnerabilities, further enhancing their stability.
Static sites' separation from databases and server-side interactions minimizes potential security risks, creating a more secure environment for both the website owner and visitors.
Improved SEO Friendliness
The speed and direct availability of content on static sites contribute to better SEO rankings. Search engines favor fast-loading websites, resulting in higher search visibility and increased organic traffic.
Lower Costs and Simplicity
With no need for database connections, static sites have lower basic costs and a simpler development process. The reduced complexity means fewer potential points of failure, and in the rare event of a crash, redeploying the site is a straightforward process.
Flexibility in Design
Static sites offer greater design flexibility, allowing each page to have a unique layout that caters to different content types. This versatility enables businesses to create visually engaging web pages that best represent their brand and message.
Hosting static sites on Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) is often more cost-effective, as CDNs distribute site content across multiple servers globally, reducing the load on any single server and optimizing site performance.
What are the disadvantages of static sites?
There is also a dark side to the above features. While offering numerous benefits, they do have some limitations that businesses should consider.
Note that we're talking about "pure" or "classic" static websites here.
Limited Dynamic Content
One of the main drawbacks of static sites is their limited ability to deliver real-time content and personalized experiences to users. Since the content is pre-rendered and fixed, making real-time updates or displaying dynamic user-specific information can be challenging.
Complex Updates and Scalability
Static sites require the creation of new pages for each unique need, making updates and scaling more cumbersome compared to dynamic websites. As the site grows or content requirements change, maintaining a large number of individual pages can become labor-intensive and may lead to higher maintenance costs.
Unlike dynamic sites, static websites lack true real-time interaction with users, resulting in limited user engagement and interactivity. Interactive elements such as live chat or real-time notifications may be more challenging to implement on static sites.
Content Management Challenges
Traditional static sites may lack Content Management Systems (CMS), making content updates and management more reliant on technical expertise. Non-technical users may find it difficult to edit or add new content without direct access to the site's source code.
We'll explain this matter further in the article.
While static sites are well-suited for informational and content-driven websites, they might be less suitable for complex web applications that require dynamic features and functionalities. Implementing complex user interactions or transactional capabilities on static sites may be impractical.
Form Handling and Data Processing
Static sites may face challenges when it comes to handling user-submitted forms or processing data. Serverless form handling or integrating with external APIs might be necessary to overcome these limitations.
Dependency on Regeneration
Static sites that use a generation process require regenerating the entire site whenever content changes. This regeneration process may result in temporary downtime during updates, affecting real-time availability.
Features of Dynamic Websites – Pros And Cons
The content of dynamic websites is generated real-time, and it highly depends on the user’s actions. That’s what makes them powerful but also more complex.
Dynamic websites are managed via CMS – content management systems. Examples of popular CMS include Zesty, Drupal, WordPress, Kontent.ai, Sitecore or Contentstack, and many others.
What are the advantages of dynamic sites?
Dynamic sites offer a range of advantages that cater to businesses seeking personalized and interactive web experiences. Below, you'll find the key benefits of dynamic websites.
Personalized and Time-Sensitive Content
The ability to access highly personalized or time-sensitive content sets dynamic sites apart. With data stored in databases, dynamic sites can deliver content tailored to individual users, ensuring relevant and engaging experiences.
Dynamic sites excel in providing interactive features such as customer logins and e-commerce transactions. These functionalities enhance user engagement, allowing businesses to build stronger relationships with their audience and facilitate seamless online interactions. Features like live chat support, user-generated content, and social media integrations contribute to a more immersive user experience.
Efficient Content Management
Dynamic sites leverage Content Management Systems (CMS) that enable multiple users to manage and manipulate content collaboratively. This centralized control streamlines content updates, ensuring consistency across the site and simplifying ongoing maintenance.
Scalability and Versatility
Dynamic sites are inherently more scalable and versatile compared to static websites. As businesses grow and evolve, dynamic sites can accommodate increased traffic and complex functionalities, making them ideal for expanding ventures. One thing to consider, though: it's doable only with a good development team on board.
Real-Time Data Processing
The use of databases and server-side processing allows dynamic sites to process data in real-time. This capability is particularly valuable for applications that require live data updates, such as real-time analytics or collaborative platforms.
What are the disadvantages of dynamic sites?
While dynamic sites offer a wealth of interactive possibilities, they also come with certain challenges that businesses should consider. Here are the key disadvantages of dynamic websites:
Design Limitations and Complexity
Building dynamic sites around a single theme or design principles can lead to design limitations. Customizing templates for individual pages may introduce complexity, making the development process more time-consuming and resource-intensive.
Higher Building Costs
The complexity of dynamic sites often requires more developer skills and effort during the building phase. Customizing and integrating dynamic features may result in higher development costs compared to simpler static websites.
The interactive nature of dynamic sites exposes them to potential security threats such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS). Implementing robust security measures becomes critical to safeguard sensitive user data and protect against potential breaches.
Increased Risk of System Crashes
The continuous interaction with users and complex server-side processing increases the risk of system crashes. Technical glitches or server issues could disrupt site availability, leading to negative user experiences and potential loss of business.
Maintaining dynamic sites may be more involved compared to static websites. Regular updates, security patches, and database management require ongoing attention and technical expertise.
Dependency on Backend Infrastructure
The dynamic functionality of these sites relies heavily on backend infrastructure and server resources. This dependency requires a reliable hosting environment and continuous server maintenance, adding to operational overhead.
The Difference Between Static And Dynamic Websites – The Rendering
In this article, we refer to a method of delivery of a web page, which is linked to how the page is rendered. Rendering covers the visual representation of digital content in a form specific to a certain environment – in this case, displaying the website in a browser window.
Static sites are pre-rendered, which means their looks have been prepared even before the user requested it, and dynamic sites are rendered in real-time, upon the user’s request. They are literally being created from elements in a moment when the user asks for it.
Static vs Dynamic Website – Which Type To Use For The Project?
Choosing between a static and dynamic website depends on the specific project requirements and the nature of the content to be delivered. Here are some examples of industries and types of websites that can benefit from each type.
For What Projects It's Good to Use Static Websites
Artists, photographers, designers, and other creatives can showcase their work through static websites. The simplicity and fast loading times of static sites ensure a smooth user experience, allowing their work to take center stage.
Static websites are an excellent choice for non-profit organizations seeking to establish an online presence. They can efficiently display their mission, goals, and accomplishments without the need for frequent updates.
Websites for one-time events, conferences, or workshops can be effectively created as static sites. They offer cost-effective solutions to promote the event's details, schedule, and registration process.
Individual bloggers can leverage static websites to publish their thoughts, ideas, and expertise without worrying about complex backend management.
Small Business Websites
Startups and small businesses can quickly launch and maintain static websites to provide basic information about their products and services.
Static websites are an excellent fit for restaurants to display their menus, operating hours, and contact information without the need for real-time updates.
Websites offering educational resources, study materials, or reference guides can benefit from static structures, ensuring easy navigation and access to information.
For What Projects It's Good to Use Dynamic Websites
Dynamic websites are ideal for e-learning platforms that require interactive features, student progress tracking, and personalized learning paths.
Dynamic websites provide the necessary functionality for online marketplaces, allowing sellers to list products, manage inventory, and facilitate secure transactions.
Customer Support Portals
Companies offering customer support services can employ dynamic websites to offer live chat support, ticketing systems, and real-time assistance.
Social Media Platforms
Dynamic websites power social media platforms, enabling users to post, like, comment, and engage in real-time interactions with others.
Content Publishing Sites and Media
Online newspapers, magazines, and content-heavy websites benefit from dynamic capabilities to deliver fresh content, multimedia, and reader engagement.
Travel and Booking Websites
Dynamic sites can offer real-time booking options for flights, hotels, and other travel-related services, providing users with up-to-date availability and pricing.
Gaming and Entertainment Portals
Dynamic websites cater to gaming and entertainment platforms that require real-time updates, user profiles, and interactive features.
Online Banking and Finance Platforms
Dynamic websites are crucial for secure online banking, enabling real-time transaction processing and account management.
Real-time Collaboration Tools
Dynamic websites can be used for collaborative platforms, facilitating real-time document editing, video conferencing, and file sharing.
Weather and Traffic Information
Websites providing weather forecasts, traffic updates, and live maps rely on dynamic data processing to deliver accurate and up-to-date information.
Content Matters: A Look at Static Content vs Dynamic Content Management
When it comes to web development, managing and delivering content effectively can significantly impact a website's performance and user experience. Static and dynamic approaches have distinct strategies for content management, each offering unique advantages and considerations.
In the static approach, content changes require manual updates to individual pages. On the other hand, dynamic websites utilize content management systems (CMS) that allow non-technical users to make real-time changes, ensuring content remains up-to-date without the need for frequent manual interventions.
Static websites excel in caching content, as their pages remain constant and can be readily stored and served to users from various locations. This results in faster page loading times and reduced server loads. Dynamic sites also use caching techniques, but they must carefully manage cache expiration to ensure users receive the most current content.
Static sites are pre-rendered and delivered directly from content delivery networks (CDNs), which distribute the content to servers worldwide, ensuring fast and reliable access for users. Dynamic sites generate content on-the-fly, requiring database queries and server processing, potentially leading to slower delivery times, especially during high traffic periods.
Due to their pre-rendered nature, static sites provide consistent delivery times for all users. In contrast, dynamic sites may experience delays during content generation, impacting user experience, especially for visitors with slower internet connections.
Balancing content management with performance is crucial in web development. Static websites offer speed, simplicity, and security, making them ideal for simpler content with lower maintenance needs. Dynamic websites, powered by CMS, excel in real-time updates, personalization, and complex content requirements.
Understanding Static and Dynamic Websites: Examples for Clarity
Let's now take a look at some live examples of each type of website so you can better distinguish one from another.
Static Websites Examples
Portfolio Website: danmall.me
A personal portfolio website of Dan Mall, a highly respected designer and creative director. The site showcases his work and provides information about his services.
Daring Fireball is a popular technology-focused blog written by John Gruber. The site offers insightful commentary and analysis on Apple products and the tech industry.
Event Website: websummit.com
Web Summit is one of the largest tech conferences in the world, bringing together industry leaders and startups. The website provides event details, speaker information, and ticket booking options.
Resources Website: vuejs.org
Dynamic Websites Examples
Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce platforms globally, offering a vast range of products across various categories. The website's dynamic nature allows users to browse products, add them to a cart, and make purchases.
Social Media: facebook.com
Facebook is a popular social media platform that enables users to connect, share content, and interact with others. The website dynamically displays real-time updates on news feeds, notifications, and friend activities.
News Portal: cbc.ca
CBC News is a Canadian news organization delivering national and international news coverage. The static website provides readers with a comprehensive view of news articles without real-time updates.
Web Application: trello.com
Trello is a project management tool that utilizes a dynamic interface to help teams organize and collaborate on tasks and projects. Users can create, update, and track progress in real-time.
Choosing the Jamstack Fusion Approach: Dynamic vs Static Website vs Jamstack
So now there is a solution that will connect the best advantages of both worlds: let us introduce you to Jamstack.
We have actually already discussed the Jamstack approach in a thorough way on our blog. We will recall the most important ideas here – enough to get you acquainted with it!
Jamstack is not a specific set of tools, an open source solution or name of the company that introduced it. It’s a fresh approach to creating websites and applications.
It allows the developer and user to enjoy the advantages of static websites, such as efficiency, speed, and security, while also allowing for the full interactivity, typical of dynamic sites.
Okay, but why would you care?
You can use it to create almost any type of website or web application:
A landing page
A B2B services website
A corporate website
An e-commerce website and storefront
A personal blog
A web application
A Progressive Web Application
How is this possible? Read on!
With Jamstack, You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It, too
So, if you want to stay ahead with your website and your business, you should take a closer look at this world of new possibilities.
Dynamic vs Static Website – How Does It Work In Jamstack?
As we have just said, Jamstack websites have some features of dynamic sites while, in fact, they are static.
How is this possible? Well, in Jamstack, the front end and the back end are separated, or we’d rather say, decoupled.
It is possible to use the same back end with content for different front ends. This allows for using content management systems (CMS) for managing the website’s content. They’re called headless CMS, as they can be coupled with many different “heads”.
The content is delivered to the front end via APIs (application programming interfaces). It provides a lot of flexibility because you can change the front end layer without affecting the back end.
It is the opposite of traditional monolithic architecture, like WordPress, where the front end and the back end are directly coupled.
By the way, you can try to go with headless WordPress. However we don’t recommend it, we thought you might want to know about it.
How Is Jamstack Site Rendered – Statically or Dynamically?
As in the case of traditional static websites, pre-rendering can be done using the already mentioned static site generators, but also via server-side rendering (SSR) or incremental static regeneration (ISR).
What is the difference between monolithic and Jamstack approach?
As we have mentioned, the Jamstack approach is the opposite of the monolithic concept. Traditional websites rely on servers, databases, and plugins, while Jamstack ones rely on cloud platforms and serverless database.
In the monolithic approach, when the server receives a request for a dynamic page, it has to generate a new HTML document from scratch, merging it with data from the database.
In Jamstack, the HTML is generated once and then served to all user requests from the content delivery network.
Need a better website?
Jamstack development described
Business reasons to switch
How to get started
All you need to know
80 pages for free!
Static vs Dynamic Web Pages – Jamstack As One New Answer To Many Old Problems
Jamstack is worth noting not only because of the benefits, but also because it gets rid of common problems connected with static and dynamic websites.
You may forget about slow loading typical of content-rich monolithic dynamic websites and their poor security. You can ditch the design limitations and customize everything to your taste.
You may also update content without direct technical knowledge, which was a problem with static sites – with Jamstack, you have a whole range of headless CMS systems that can be easily operated by content owners in a company, or individual merchants in the case of ecommerce pages. Those systems allow you to keep the maintenance costs at a reasonable level.
Jamstack for personalized websites
Due to the above reasons, Jamstack is the best choice when you want to have a custom built website, such as an online store. Choosing a traditional dynamic approach in this case would be costly and non-efficient – and it grows exponentially with the level of complexity of the website's content.
Moreover, you may not exactly know how your business needs would evolve in the years to come, and Jamstack is future-proof in this regard, allowing for organic development of the website and adding new functions gradually.
Recap – Static vs Dynamic Web Pages And How To Start Working With Jamstack
Static websites offer speed and simplicity, making them suitable for simpler content, while dynamic websites excel in real-time updates and personalization. However, the Jamstack architecture provides an innovative synthesis, combining the best of both worlds.
By leveraging pre-rendered static sites and integrating dynamic functionality through APIs, Jamstack offers the benefits of speed, security, and flexibility, allowing businesses to create high-performing and customizable websites that meet the demands of modern web development.
To start with Jamstack projects, you should take into account a few factors. It’s important to clearly set the business goals of the website and what you want to achieve by building it.
In the second step, you have to specify the needs – enlist all desired functions, third-party tools and technologies to be used, and a timeline.
Then, you’ve got to set the budget. The cost of a simple Jamstack site starts from 10 thousand dollars and can rise to even a whopping 100 thousand in the case of web applications.
Of course, you don’t have to do it all by yourself – that’s what web development and eCommerce development company like ours is for.
We're always happy to offer Jamstack development services and are excited to present the extensive advantages of this approach.
Try working with us – contact us and send your request now!
Let's talk about Jamstack!
Contact us and we'll warmly introduce you to the vast world of Jamstack web development!
More posts in this category
How Web Development Consultation Can Accelerate Your Business: Unlock the Full Potential of Headless & Jamstack
What can you expect from a web development consultant? Online success is no accident; it's a product of strategy, smart decisions, and leveraging the right technologies for your...
Sep 18· 10 min read
Composable Architecture: Definition & How To Harness Its Potential For Enterprises
What is composable architecture? This transformative approach promises to redefine how startups, SMBs, and enterprises conceptualize, design, and deploy their digital ecosystems...
Sep 07· 17 min read